Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Stay at Home/Stayin' Alive

You know, I used to regard stay at home moms (aka SAHMs) with disdain. I used to think they were self-indulgent. What do they do all day? I remember thinking, envisioning women perched on swings, idly lounging while their kids played in the sandbox. Well, in my youth, I made many mistakes (perming my already-curly hair was one, sporting acrylic nails was another) and in my adulthood, thinking "stay at home moms have it easy" was a whopper. 

Wait for it: Boy, was I wrong. I almost lost my mind today.

To be fair, I have been on a full-time semi-single parent binge. As mentioned before, Disney was a lot of work, and while Emerson had the time of her life, I returned from "vacation" ready to fall over. Not to be outdone, young Sawyer J, who had been the picture of calm, beatific innocence for the duration of the trip, decided to turn into a lunatic upon our return. Coupled with the fact that Emerson developed a nasty cold and a junky cough and fever which kept her home from school for three days, you can see where my sanity was headed. 

I decided to bring Em to John Sawyer's four-month well-baby appointment so our favorite pediatrician could check her out, and, of course, to make her smile, as she loves him. (As in actually loves him, and wants to give him a hug and a kiss when she leaves the office, shots or not. She still refuses to hug some close family members.) It turned out that she just had a cold, while John Sawyer had his four-month shots. My chubby (17.11) boy remained incredibly smiley and upbeat for most of the day, until about 5:00 when he decided to unleash his angst. Prior to this, we'd done lots of fun, constructive activities; we had made some holiday cards, baked a batch of red velvet cupcakes (which freak me out, and emerged oddly leaning to one side for reasons unknown), made a meatloaf together, and played dolls, all with John Sawyer in varying degrees of happiness and squawking. But by 5:00, his good nature was evaporating at precisely the moment when Emerson decided to dump each of her 7000 Legos onto her bedroom floor. 

I know there are moms neater than I am, more patient than I am, and smarter than I am. Every day I aspire to be more like them. But as this moment, I resorted to bribery to stay alive.

"Em, wanna watch tv?" 
"Okay, Mommy. Can I watch Rudolph?"

Though I'd been saving Rudolph for a snowy day, I agreed, and sent a silent prayer up to God that I wasn't a single mom, that I had a husband who would be home soon, and that my kids were healthy enough to be inquisitive and have so much energy. I also prayed to the God/dess of Stay at Home Moms and Judgmental Youth. God bless us, every one.

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